Search and Rescue Mission Using Multicopters
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Search and rescue operations can greatly benefit from the use of autonomous unmanned aerial systems to survey the environment and collect evidence about the positions of missing persons. This thesis considers the design of an autonomous multicopter system for use in a search and rescue mission. The ArduPilot Mega is used as the autopilot and is presented together with detailed information about the utilized hardware and software. The design of a low- level control interface is implemented as an extension to APM:Copter using the MAVLink protocol allowing attitude or velocity control of the multicopter.Furthermore, promising methods for autonomous behavior are discussed and developed with the use of the low-level control interface. The integration of a camera is characterized as a vital part of the fully autonomous search and rescue muliticopter system and presented together with a method used to describe and estimate motion of a target object. The estimator used for the state estimation is the extended Kalman filter.Finally, experiments of the system are conducted at a test field to demonstrate how it can be utilized and to prove the viability of the complete system. The experiments verify that the autonomous search and rescue multicoper can contribute in a search operation using an observer to spot for objects.